This semester, the Center for Economic Development will be putting together a recommendation for improving the US tax code by analyzing previous tax legislation. Topic areas include income tax brackets, corporate tax rates, and payroll taxes.
In 2016, a Connecticut state judge determined in the case of CCJEF vs. Rell that the sharp inequities in the state’s education system, which occur mostly along the lines of race and income level, are unconstitutional. Despite being home to some of the highest performing school districts in the country, Connecticut fails to adequately provide for its low-income districts, which perform worse than the low-income districts in 40 other states. In 1969, the state passed legislation establishing the goal of improving educational equity and has, in the time since, established a network of magnet, technical, and charter schools intended to address this concern. This semester, we will consider the successes and shortcomings of this network of schools, with the intention of formulating policy recommendations for the Connecticut Department of Education and drawing conclusions relevant to national discussions concerning school choice.
Energy & Environment
The Energy and Environment Center will be partnering with the City of New Haven to evaluate and produce actionable climate change resiliency policy. This question is especially important given New Haven is a coastal city and the most vulnerable zones are populated by citizens least able to absorb the impact.
Homelessness in Los Angeles is at an all-time high -- a staggering 58,000 individuals -- as rent continues to increase in L.A. County. This number has the possibility of rising, as there are 580,000 people in Los Angeles County who are one emergency away from homelessness. Partnering with ThriveLA, a nonprofit working to provide homes, jobs, and communities for returning homeless veterans in Los Angeles, the Equal Justice Center seeks to further analyze the population on the brink of homelessness, understand their needs, and propose policy solutions to Los Angeles County.
Within the International Development center this semester, we will be researching the ongoing political and economic crisis in Venezuela. Broadly, we will look into the history of Venezuela's political economy over the past few decades to chart which changes and reforms have precipitated the turmoil today. Specifically, we will study how specific commodities -- such as oil -- have determined Venezuela's economic fortune.
As climate change causes air temperatures to rise, an increasingly large number of people must confront the imminent risk of heat stroke every summer. Yale Climate Connections recently reported that major cities must now devise methods to protect individuals in underserved communities that do not have direct access to air conditioning or public cooling centers because heat strokes have become so common. To address this problem, the Yale Roosevelt Institute's Public Health Center will spend the fall 2017 semester investigating how cities should distribute cooling mechanisms or subsidize air conditioning to help mitigate the frequency of heat strokes. We intend to partner with non-profits in either Los Angeles or Miami currently studying this issue.
Security and Foreign Policy
Our project will be focusing on the current state of Rwanda. We hope to answer the following questions: Did conflict resolution in Rwanda work? If so, how? What does this tell us about conflict resolution? Regionally? Internationally?